Today I tried split squats just for curiosity, did a superset of 5 sets with barbell and 5 with dumbbells and then a dropset with dumbbells. I already did supersets and drops with normal squats but I've always only felt it in my quadriceps and a little bit in my glutes.

But with splits I have felt my hamstrings and quadriceps both burning from one exercise and I also noticed an absurdly incredible burn in my gluteus medius, actually this was the first time in my life noticing anything in the gluteus medius. Are split squats superior to normal squats since they seem to work more muscles?

1 Answer 1


Research suggests that rear-leg elevated split squats ("Bulgarian split squats") activate the biceps femoris on the eccentric part of the movement more than conventional squats. Additionally, it is an unilateral movement and can help you correct muscular imbalances between legs.

Now is it the superior exercise? This depends entirely on your personal goals. Do you want to focus more on training your hamstrings, your balance or just want to try something new? Go for it! Are you planning to go to a powerlifting/weightlifting meet? Stick to normal back squats!

However, the amount of soreness is not a good indicator of the effectiveness of an exercise - Any kind of new exercise will make you sore. The higher the eccentric load in a movement, the more likely it is to cause soreness, as well (hence you often see olympic lifters just dropping their bars after the concentric movement, instead of bringing it back to the ground in a controlled fashion).

  • I'm not a competitor.
    – user28651
    May 27, 2018 at 15:37
  • I see it as more bang for my buck in this case.
    – user28651
    May 27, 2018 at 15:38
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    it seems like an absolute valid replacement exercise. If you can hold your balance at high loads - why not? May 27, 2018 at 15:42
  • Speaking about the eccentric movement,in case of DL training,do we lose any gains if we drop it like the powerlifters do?
    – S.D
    May 28, 2018 at 20:35
  • What powerlifter drops the deadlift? If you don't stick with the bar until it's dead on the floor again, it counts as a failed attempt. May 28, 2018 at 21:00

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